Narwhal & Tusk

This is a brief introduction to Narwhal and Tusk, the high-throughput mempool and consensus offered by Mysten Labs. Sui runs consensus as needed to periodically checkpoint its state. And for those transactions that require a total ordering, Narwhal/Tusk is the consensus engine of Sui.

The dual name highlights that the systems split the responsibilities of:

  • ensuring the availability of data submitted to consensus (Narwhal)
  • agreeing on a specific ordering of this data (Tusk)

Narwhal and Tusk represent the latest variant of decades of work on multi-proposer, high-throughput consensus algorithms that reaches throughputs more than 130,000 transactions per second on a WAN, with production cryptography, permanent storage, and a scaled-out primary-worker architecture.